WAIS (Wide Area Information Server)
Digitized documentation of the Wide Area Information Servers or WAIS (pronounced "ways") system. Digitized for use in a patent suit it is presented here for public use.
WAIS was the first Internet Publishing system on the Internet. Before the Web and Gopher, tt helped users find remote servers and ask questions. A user could ask questions of personal, corporate, and wide area information servers using one question.
It was developed in the late 1980s as a project of Thinking Machines, Apple Computer, Dow Jones, and KPMG Peat Marwick, then released in 1991 as an opensource project with attracted widespread use. Integrated into the NCSA Mosaic browser (it was called Mosaic because it integrated FTP, Gopher, WAIS, and World Wide Web clients), it became mostly used for its search capabilities by the mid 1990's.